Never underestimate the power of grinding, this is by far the most important aspect on the process of preparing a perfect cup of coffee. In a series of posts you will learn about core concepts and essential tips you need to know in order to make the most of those specialty coffee beans.

THE BASICS

Whether you dream to become an expert barista or you’re just a coffee lover that wants the best results on your daily coffee dose, you need to understand two invaluable concepts: grind size and consistency. Today we’ll focus on the first. You can read about grind consistency in our next blog post. Let’s get started!

GRIND SIZE

First of all, the size of the little grinds you obtain after crushing your coffee beans is the sole responsible for the flavor you obtain. This is because the more surface is exposed to water, the better the soluble flavors are obtained.

Grind size

As general rule, a chunky grinding will lead to under-extraction, which means you haven’t taken enough flavor out of your coffee. Meanwhile, a pulverized ground coffee will result in an over-extracted drink, which equals to way too much flavor. Let’s reveal how you can recognize those undesirable extremes.

UNDER-EXTRACTION

One of the most distinctive characteristics of under-extraction is the lack of sweetness. This flavor is the most delicious but also the most difficult to obtain from a coffee bean. If the grinding is too coarse, you’ll leave tons of sweet notes behind that help you balance the acidity of your coffee. As a consequence less pleasant flavors contained in coffee beans, such as a flat sourness and saltiness, will be easily exposed.

If the grinding is too coarse, you’ll leave tons of sweet notes behind that help you balance the acidity of your coffee.

OVER-EXTRACTION

When the grind of a coffee is way too fine, both pleasant and unpleasant flavors are released. However, sweetness will always be more subtle and difficult to obtain. The bitter flavors, on the other hand, will become too intense and will outshine the luscious sweet notes. Long story short, a sip of an over-extracted coffee will leave a dry astringent sensation in your mouth, pretty much as that of an unripe fruit, no matter the quality of your coffee.

Extraction

A HEAVENLY COFFEE

Summing up what was explained above, what you are looking for if you wish to prepare a coffee out of this world is balance. On a perfect cup of coffee, sweetness and acidity are gracefully combined. This fusion leaves a luscious aroma in the air and a long lasting complex flavor in your mouth. Again, all depends on the specific grind size of your coffee.

We can classify grind size into 7 levels that range from extra coarse to extra fine

We can classify grind size into 7 levels that range from extra coarse to extra fine. The perfect coffee grind is somewhere in between; it depends on your personal taste but also on your preferred brewing method. You’ll have to make some tests to discover where your desired grinding point lies; meanwhile follow this chart for obtaining a balanced coffee:

Grind size & brew method

Practice what you just learned with a single-origin coffee from Ecuador and let us know in the comments which grind size you choose. Don’t miss out our next blog post on grind consistency.

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